Can we trust machines?

The toaster may be looking pretty sus when it burns your bread but you should still trust it...right?
07 December 2021


A finger selecting an icon on a touchscreen



Should we trust machines?


With machines holding more and more personal & private information, Julia Ravey spoke to Beth Singler from the University of Cambridge about our dependence on machines and if we should trust them...

Beth - Oh yes. I mean, it goes back to what we're saying and discussing earlier about all fears about the robot uprising and the robot rebellion and our narratives about how all these things can go horribly wrong. I think it's actually much more important that we have a conversation about how we trust the humans behind the machines. So there's no application at the moment of AI or robotics that isn't being deliberately implemented by humans, given values and incentives in particular directions, by a human being. Every single recommendation system behind the scenes and things like YouTube - if you go on social media, on Facebook - everything that is being selected for you is because a human decided that we would prioritise specific things. So we need to have a very strongly worded discussion about what kind of influence corporations and the individuals within them have on those decision-making algorithms. That, in a sense, pushes corporations into the realm of artificial agents. But again, we want to be sure that we know that there are still humans in the loop in both positive and negative ways.


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